04.04.2013 0

Sequester: 1 month later

By Adam Bitely — It’s been a month since the sequester spending cuts kicked in and — shockingly — America has survived against the longest of odds.

With fear of foreign invasion running high in the days leading up to sequestration taking effect, the Federal government has somehow pulled through the miniscule downsizing that the White House and Congress tried to hide from.

One of the most specific threats that the U.S. was supposedly faced with came on the nation’s border. According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, “Sequestration would force CBP to immediately begin furloughs of its employees, reduce overtime for frontline operations, and decrease its hiring to backfill positions. Specifically, beginning April 1, CBP would have to reduce its work hours by the equivalent of over 5,000 Border Patrol agents and the equivalent of over 2,750 CBP Officers.”

But fast forward to April 3 and the DHS Secretary is singing a different tune. According to Breitbart.com, “[On] Monday DHS announced planned furloughs were postponed indefinitely. This came after a bill passed last month giving DHS and a few other agencies additional discretion in how to apply cuts.”

Crisis averted — at least at DHS. Or as the Washington Post wrote, “The sequester was supposed to be something new in Washington: a budget cut you couldn’t beat. Once it hit, it hit. The money was gone, and nobody could get it back. That turned out to be true — for about three weeks.”

Remember the food inspectors that were doing to disappear because of the sequester? As it turns out, $55 million was found to keep them in place. Obama signed a spending bill that bailed out the Agriculture Department allowing them to avoid the brunt of the sequester.

On Capitol Hill though, another crisis was unable to be avoided by the folks who imposed the sequester. Some entrances to Capitol Hill office buildings were closed due to sequester cuts that reduced the amount of security officers posted at building entrances. But whoever it was that cut the security force forgot to tell the maintenance crews tasked with maintaining those doors. After the entrances were closed, maintenance crews were spotted painting the entrances and keeping them in top shape.

The kicking and screaming from Federal government officials and Washington lawmakers in the lead up to the sequester is all part of a theatrical performance that Thomas Sowell recently wrote about:

“Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?

“The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.”

The sequester was not nearly as painful as Washington made it out to be. And with the Federal government surviving the sequester without having to give up much at all,  perhaps it is a sign that we could use another round or two of sequester.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow NetRightDaily on Twitter at @NetRightDaily.

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